Hannah Sharts has become a back line fixture for the Colorado women’s soccer team.
The Buffaloes’ senior captain will go into her final season in Boulder having not missed a game since transferring to CU from UCLA in 2019, owning 58 consecutive starts over three seasons going into the Buffs’ season opener on Aug. 18 at home against Weber State.
As busy and impactful off the field (Sharts represented CU earlier this summer at the Career in Sports Forum at the NCAA’s headquarters in Indianapolis) as she is on the field (Sharts is a two-time first team All-Pac-12 selection), the senior defender didn’t have to think twice about returning to CU to use her extra season of eligibility.
“I just love CU so much and I was in no rush to leave,” Sharts said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to continue to develop. I have aspirations professionally, so I definitely wanted one more year under my belt. I wanted to get the most out of this experience as I can to best prepare for whatever comes next.
“This program, this community has given me so much. It’s really given me everything I have. I just want to give back to it as much as I possibly can. I genuinely enjoy doing all those things, or going to as many CU events as possible. I owe so much to this community.”
Sharts played alongside Taylor Kornieck and twice anchored defenses for teams that reached the NCAA Tournament. But given the wealth of talent joining the program with this year’s recruiting class, Sharts believes her final collegiate season could be special.
“This team just feels special,” Sharts said. “It just feels different. Almost like we’re ready from day one. We had probably the hardest summer of training we’ve ever had since I’ve been here, and I think that prepared us well. We have a really deep squad and it’s going to be a really exciting year.”
The Buffs apparently are set on the attack and with a defense led by Sharts and goalkeeper Dani Hansen. In between, the preseason will feature battles for midfield spots, while head coach Danny Sanchez remains optimistic the 2022 Buffs will boast plenty of depth.
“I think we have a couple good options at every position, from goalkeeper all the way up to center forward,” Sanchez said. “I’m really pleased with the freshmen. Of the seven of them, I think a few are going to make an impact right off the bat for a deep team. We feel good about it, but that first game is always a dangerous game because you don’t have an exhibition.”
Sophomore midfielder Jenny Beyer has been training with the German U20 national team, which begins play at the U20 World Cup in Costa Rica on Wednesday against Colombia. Beyer played 11 games during the delayed 2020 season in early 2021 before suffering a knee injury that kept her on the sideline last year…Junior forward Shyra James goes into the season with 14 career goals and needs two more to match Jen Thais and Danica Evans for 10th on CU’s career list…Registration remains open for the inaugural Colorado Soccer Ball, a fundraising event set for Aug. 20. All registrations include a ticket to the Aug. 21 home game against San Diego.